By Natasha Anderson
The North Carolina Arboretum presents Romantic Realism: Artwork by Ernestine Bucking on display daily in the Education Center through Sunday, January 7. Bucking, an Arden-based artist and sculptor, captures images from the natural world featuring wildlife and landscapes rendered in oils, acrylics and watercolors to achieve tones and shades that closely mirror those in nature.
“Ernestine’s realistic paintings of the natural world embrace layer after layer of pigments,” says Clara Curtis, senior director for mission delivery at the Arboretum. “Birds and butterflies seem to lift off the canvases as if in flight. Her landscapes are a window into the real world as seen through her paintbrush. We are thrilled to exhibit her work here at the Arboretum.”
Bucking, originally from Austria, says she has always been passionate about nature and that she is particularly inspired by the landscapes and scenery of WNC, which remind her of her birthplace. She often paints outdoors, starting with a water-based medium applied with both brushes and sponges in order to work quickly in the changing light. She uses additional layers to add stronger colors, focus on light, contrast and perspective, and develop a focal point. She often adds several glazes as well. With this method she captures not only the images but the mood of the settings she explores in nature.
“My hikes and bike rides along the Bent Creek Trail were the inspiration for many of my works in this exhibit,” says Bucking. “I also drew from the beautiful gardens with their native florals and landscapes. Wherever you walk or bike at the Arboretum, there is a painting to be done.”
Bucking is classically trained, having studied art in Switzerland, France, England and Germany. She has hosted more than 100 one-woman shows across the US and has received numerous awards over the past four decades. Her work is in public and private collections from Russia to Caracas. Many of her paintings and sculpture pieces are on display at corporations, businesses, colleges and universities. Murals by Bucking can be viewed at the Wildlife Educational Center in Brevard.
The North Carolina Arboretum is located at 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville. Hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, April through October, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, November through March. Romantic Realism: Artwork by Ernestine Bucking is located in the upstairs gallery of the Arboretum’s Education Center. The exhibit is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All pieces are available for purchase. Admission to the Arboretum is free. A standard $14 per vehicle parking fee is required for non-members. For more information, visit www.ncarboretum.org.